Tag:Cleveland Browns
Posted on: July 8, 2010 5:35 pm

Browns sign 37-year-old Engram

Making a move to shore up a thin WR corps, the Browns announced today they’ve signed former Bears/Seahawks WR Bobby Engram.

This will be the 37-year-old’s 14th season, and after the Chiefs released him in the middle of last season, his career seemed to be over.

He’s still considered a decent enough possession receiver, but if Cleveland - which boasts Mohamed Massaquoi (only 34 receptions) as the leading returning WR from last season and which will need more help from Chansi Stuckey and Brian Robiskie - counts on him for more, that doesn’t bode well for the Browns.

How much Engram can help has yet to be determined, but the fact Kansas City booted him after he caught just five passes for 51 yards in five games isn’t a great sign.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: July 2, 2010 7:38 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2010 8:38 pm

More on Robaire Smith

The Browns have released a terse statement regarding defensive end Robaire Smith. In an email to Pro Football Talk, GM Tom Heckert said, "We have been aware of the situation with Robaire Smith and continue to monitor it closely.”R. Smith (US Presswire)

Earlier today Smith was charged with possession of a firearm in an airport, according to the Flint Journal (Michigan). This stems from last November when Smith was questioned prior to boarding a flight from Bishop Airport to Atlanta. An airport security X-ray machine showed a loaded gun in Smiths’ carry-on bag.

According to reports, the Belgium 5.7 caliber gun had between 15 and 17 rounds in the magazine but did not have a bullet in the chamber. Smith told authorities he had forgotten about the weapon. The delay in legal action had to do with deliberations over whether to bring about federal or local charges. (Smith is being charged locally.)

Smith is the second Browns defensive lineman to be charged with firearm possession at an airport this offseason. In April, Shaun Rogers was arrested for having a loaded gun at Cleveland airport. No word yet on whether the NFL will discipline either player.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter
Category: NFL
Posted on: July 2, 2010 11:27 am

Robaire Smith faces gun charge

Last year, Browns DE Robaire Smith was busted after security found a loaded gun in his luggage at Bishop Airport in Flint, Mich. On Thursday, he was charged with possession of a firearm, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail a $1,000 fine.

Mlive.com has the complete story. 

After airport security found the gun in his luggage in Nov. 2009, he said he had forgotten he had possession of the firearm.

From the story:

The Belgium 5.7 caliber gun had between 15 and 17 rounds in the magazine but did not have a bullet in the chamber, (Genesee County Prosecutor David) Leyton said.

The gun was confiscated and he was released pending further investigation, said Leyton.

Leyton said there were discussions on whether charges should be issued federally or locally before Thursday’s decision to bring charges on the local level.

It’s unclear whether Smith will face discipline from the NFL.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 21, 2010 9:04 am

Position Change for Shaun Rogers?

There are thoughts in Cleveland about moving Shaun Rogers from nose tackle to defensive end. The 350-pounder has spent the entire offseason rehabbing after last December’s ankle/leg surgery. Rogers, who rarely speaks to reporters, hasn’t made any public comments since his airport gun arrest in April.

The thinking behind the position change is that Rogers’s backup, Ahtyba Rubin, played well down the stretch last season and needs to see more snaps. Rubin had trouble holding ground early in 2009, but by season’s end he’d become somewhat of an anchor. He doesn’t have first-class initial quickness or the brute force to penetrate a backfield; Rogers’s dominance inside – and the attention it commands – has done wonders for Cleveland’s other defensive linemen.

If moved to end, Rogers would likely play ahead of 11th-year veteran Robaire Smith, who no longer has the stamina to be an effective starter for all 16 games

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter
Posted on: June 20, 2010 3:25 pm

Ghana rookie waiting to hear fate

An interesting story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer today regarding Kwaku Danso, the 28-year-old rookie nose tackle trying to make the squad, despite playing only three snaps during his college career at East Carolina.

Danso was born in Ghana, and he didn’t immigrate to the US until he was 20 and didn’t start playing football until he was 26. He worked two jobs in college – one at Lowe’s and one as a bouncer – and he said he didn’t have much time for football. But he tried out for the Browns during rookie camp, performed well and attended mini-camp.

Now, he’s waiting to see if he’ll make the 80-man roster Cleveland will take to training camp.

From Tony Grossi’s story:

There is an upside to Danso' limited exposure to football. The somewhat passive, read-and-react nature of the Browns' scheme, particularly for the nose, might not be as difficult a transition for Danso as it would be for a college end used to shooting one gap to the quarterback.

"I love playing the 3-4 defense," Danso said. "I think it's real fun. You just play the center, in front of him, all the time. As long as you don't get pushed away, you should be fine."

Even if he makes it to camp, it’s unlikely he’d find a spot on the 53-man roster. But if you’re looking for the longest of longshots for whom to root, he’s not a bad choice.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 17, 2010 12:18 am

An Interesting Criticism on Cleveland's RFA's

Terry Pluto in the Cleveland Plain Dealer praised Jerome Harrison and Lawrence Vickers for looking like the “only winners” among the Browns’ unhappy free agents. Harrison and Vickers were the only restricted free agents in Cleveland to participate in the bulk of the team’s offseason programs. The other restricted free agents – D’Qwell Jackson, Matt Roth and Abe Elam – did not sign their tenders until the June 15 deadline and have not been around the team.

Pluto wrote:
[Harrison and Vickers] signed a type of insurance form and showed up for at least some of the OTAs and minicamps. Even wiser was [RFA] Jason Trusnik, the Nordonia product who signed his $1.7 million offer a few months ago. He realized the key word in restricted free agent is "restricted."

That means you ain't going anywhere, because the Browns could match any offer you receive. Because the Browns had the right to match any offer ... well ... there would be no offers.

So sign the one-year deal, have a good year and then cash in when you're unrestricted and teams could freely bid for you. That's how it works. In the meantime, all are being paid about $1.7 million.

The argument many restricted free agents made was that, by not signing, they were maximizing their rights as free agents. Because the uncapped year drastically limited many of those rights, it was important to fully maximize what was left.

But several players, such as Atari Bigby in Green Bay, Deuce Lutui in Arizona or, perhaps, Abe Elam in Cleveland, may come to realize that, by staying away, they opened the door for their starting job and let someone else walk right through it. That’s a point Pluto made, writing “Abe, you should have been in camp. You're not good enough to hold out. You were cut twice before Mangini signed you with the Jets. You had 17 career starts before Mangini brought you to the Browns last season.”

--Andy Benoit

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